St. Paul – The Asian Economic Development Association (AEDA) is pleased to announce the Little Mekong Night Market will have the exciting opportunity of expanding the event onto University Ave. in 2017, thanks to the generous support from John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. AEDA is a proud 2015 Knight Arts Challenge winner along with 40 other winners.
The Knight Foundation’s Knight Arts Challenge funds ideas that engage and enrich St. Paul through the arts. Through this support, the Night Market will expand upon art performances, artist-led activities, and creative spaces throughout the five-block long district, located along the Greenline and Frogtown/Summit-U. In creating meaningful arts engagement among Asians and other populations underrepresented as artists and audiences in the city’s arts landscape, this will transform and elevate the district into a lively, fun, and vibrant regional destination, support the district’s small businesses, and highlight AEDA’s mission to increase economic opportunities among Asians in the region. Performances will fill the streets with dance, drum, music, live demonstrations, film showcases, and artist-crafted activities to inspire and spark imagination. The Night Market launched in 2014 and has seen great success and growth even in 2015 with a record of 13,000 and hundreds of artists and microentrepreneurs, and is anticipated to continue growing in 2016 and on.
The Little Mekong District is an initiative of AEDA as part of a larger effort to promote the businesses in the area between Mackubin and Galtier streets in St. Paul, which has been a longtime home to a flourishing business community. The district is named after the river that connects many of the countries and cultures of Southeast Asia.
AEDA was formed in 2006 by Asian small business owners, community leaders and activists in response to the building of the Green Line light rail transit. Since our founding, we have grown to respond to the changing needs of our community, developing and offering programs to further advance our mission while sustaining direct engagement of the lower income constituencies we represent. Serving both Saint Paul and Minneapolis areas, we collaborate with partners focusing on helping our communities create jobs through small business development; achieve financial capability through financial education and access to credit; champion more vibrant neighborhoods through arts and culture; and attain racial justice and economic inclusion through advocacy.
ABOUT JOHN S. AND JAMES L. KNIGHT FOUNDATION
Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. The foundation believes that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit knightfoundation.org.